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Athlete Tips: Dealing with failure

Failure is a part of sports, it’s a part of life. No matter how hard we work, no matter how much time we take to prepare, games will be lost; mistakes will happen. Sometimes, we will just come up short of success. What makes anyone great, athlete or not, is taking failure and turning it into success. Learning from failure is one of the best things we can do to create success in our futures. 

At Warren Academy, we focus on training athletes to reach their full potential. We understand that there will be times when athletes fail, and that’s okay. In this blog, we discuss how any athlete can turn failure into success. 

Dealing with failure

If you are competitive by nature, you probably hate losing. Even if you aren’t the most competitive person, winning feels better than losing. When you lose a game, or make a bad play, here are some things to focus on.

Understand that every athlete will fail

The first thing to think about is that you’re not alone. Every team will lose. Every player will make mistakes. Whether that be a missed tackle or an untimely fumble, just know that you’re not alone. Especially in a team sport like football, even professional athletes make mistakes. It’s important that you understand that mistakes and failure happens to everyone. 

Don’t dwell on failure

When we fail, we tend to think about it. The first step in overcoming failure is having a short memory. A good rule of thumb is to think about what happened for 30 minutes after your game, and then only reflect back when working to become better. Constantly thinking about what you could’ve done better will only have negative effects on an athlete’s mentality. Stay focused on your goals, stay focused on your season, and come back working harder than ever.

Reflect on your performance

Once you let the anger and emotions go after a game, it’s time to reflect on how you can grow from your failure. When reflecting on what happened, be honest with yourself. Hold yourself accountable for the mistakes you made and then come up with ways to improve and limit these errors in the future. Look at the things that you did well, and focus on how you accomplished those successes. These simple tips will help you grow as an athlete, grow your mindset, and ultimately help you learn from your mistakes. 

Never be afraid to fail

Lastly, you have to tell yourself that you’re not afraid of failure. It’s important that even after a bad game, you keep pushing yourself harder, you keep taking risks and having faith in yourself and your teammates. 

From time to time, an athlete is going to fail. As Vince Lombardi said, “It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.” When an athlete can fail, reflect and learn, and grow better from it, they will be successful.


At Warren Academy, we work hard at training athletes to get better each and every day. Our strength and conditioning programs work on training athletes both physically and mentally. Visit our website to learn more about our sports performance and athletic programs.